Vedanta says output rises at Indian zinc, oil and gas units
Oct 9 (Reuters) - Oil and mining conglomerate Vedanta Resources Plc reported a rise in oil and gas and zinc production in the second quarter and said it expected to resume mining iron ore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka shortly.
Controlled by Indian scrap dealer-turned-billionaire Anil Agarwal, Vedanta has been hurt by the ban on iron ore mining in Karnataka and the western Indian state of Goa over the last few quarters.
The company received clearance from India's top court in September to resume mining in Karnataka, but is still awaiting a decision to permit mining the steel-making commodity in Goa.
Vedanta said average daily gross operated production of oil and gas at unit Cairn India, which it acquired in an ambitious almost $9 billion deal in 2011, rose to 213.3 million barrels of oil equivalent in the quarter ended Sept. 30.
Gross production at the Rajasthan block rose 2 percent to 175,478 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Mined metal production at Zinc India increased 16 percent to 222,000 tonnes in the second quarter, and the company said its Kayad and Rampura Agucha underground mine projects in Rajasthan were progressing well and would start commercial production this fiscal year.
The conglomerate, which recently got legal and regulatory approval to consolidate its web of subsidiaries and simplify its structure, said copper cathode production at its India unit fell about 6 percent to 82,000 tonnes in the second quarter.
However, Vedanta said its smelter in southern India had restarted in end June and was operating at full capacity.
The smelter, operated by Vedanta's unit Sterlite Industries , has long been the target of protesters and politicians who call it a risk to fisheries in the coastal town of Tuticorin, near the southern tip of India.
Under the consolidation plan, Sterlite Industries was merged into its iron ore unit Sesa Goa to create a new entity Sesa Sterlite.
Vedanta produces copper, zinc, silver, aluminium, iron ore and power through its operations in India, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Liberia, Ireland and Australia.
Shares in the FTSE-100 company closed at 1070 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.
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